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A new quantum paradox throws the foundations of observed reality into question

by Eric Cavalcanti, Griffith University

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Perhaps not, some say.

And if someone is there to hear it? If you think that means it obviously did make a sound, you might need to revise that opinion.

We have found a new paradox in quantum mechanics – one of our two most fundamental scientific theories, together with Einstein’s theory of relativity – that throws doubt on some common-sense ideas about physical reality.

Quantum mechanics vs common sense
Take a look at these three statements:

When someone observes an event happening, it really happened.

It is possible to make free choices, or at least, statistically random choices.

A choice made in one place can’t instantly affect a distant event. (Physicists call this “locality”.)

These are all intuitive ideas, and widely believed even by physicists. But our research, published in Nature Physics, shows they cannot all be true – or quantum mechanics itself must break down at some level.

This is the strongest result yet in a long series of discoveries in quantum mechanics that have upended our ideas about reality. To understand why it’s so important, let’s look at this history.

The battle for reality
Quantum mechanics works extremely well to describe the behaviour of tiny objects, such as atoms or particles of light (photons). But that behaviour is … very odd.

In many cases, quantum theory doesn’t give definite answers to questions such as “where is this particle right now?” Instead, it only provides probabilities for where the particle might be found when it is observed.

For Niels Bohr, one of the founders of the theory a century ago, that’s not because we lack information, but because physical properties like “position” don’t actually exist until they are measured.

And what’s more, because some properties of a particle can’t be perfectly observed simultaneously – such as position and velocity – they can’t be real simultaneously.

No less a figure than Albert Einstein found this idea untenable. In a 1935 article with fellow theorists Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen, he argued there must be more to reality than what quantum mechanics could describe.

The article considered a pair of distant particles in a special state now known as an “entangled” state. When the same property (say, position or velocity) is measured on both entangled particles, the result will be random – but there will be a correlation between the results from each particle.

For example, an observer measuring the position of the first particle could perfectly predict the result of measuring the position of the distant one, without even touching it. Or the observer could choose to predict the velocity instead. This had a natural explanation, they argued, if both properties existed before being measured, contrary to Bohr’s interpretation.

However, in 1964 Northern Irish physicist John Bell found Einstein’s argument broke down if you carried out a more complicated combination of different measurements on the two particles.

Bell showed that if the two observers randomly and independently choose between measuring one or another property of their particles, like position or velocity, the average results cannot be explained in any theory where both position and velocity were pre-existing local properties.

That sounds incredible, but experiments have now conclusively demonstrated Bell’s correlations do occur. For many physicists, this is evidence that Bohr was right: physical properties don’t exist until they are measured.

But that raises the crucial question: what is so special about a “measurement”?

The observer, observed
In 1961, the Hungarian-American theoretical physicist Eugene Wigner devised a thought experiment to show what’s so tricky about the idea of measurement.

He considered a situation in which his friend goes into a tightly sealed lab and performs a measurement on a quantum particle – its position, say.

However, Wigner noticed that if he applied the equations of quantum mechanics to describe this situation from the outside, the result was quite different. Instead of the friend’s measurement making the particle’s position real, from Wigner’s perspective the friend becomes entangled with the particle and infected with the uncertainty that surrounds it.

This is similar to Schrödinger’s famous cat, a thought experiment in which the fate of a cat in a box becomes entangled with a random quantum event.

For Wigner, this was an absurd conclusion. Instead, he believed that once the consciousness of an observer becomes involved, the entanglement would “collapse” to make the friend’s observation definite.

But what if Wigner was wrong?

Our experiment
In our research, we built on an extended version of the Wigner’s friend paradox, first proposed by Časlav Brukner of the University of Vienna. In this scenario, there are two physicists – call them Alice and Bob – each with their own friends (Charlie and Debbie) in two distant labs.

There’s another twist: Charlie and Debbie are now measuring a pair of entangled particles, like in the Bell experiments.

As in Wigner’s argument, the equations of quantum mechanics tell us Charlie and Debbie should become entangled with their observed particles. But because those particles were already entangled with each other, Charlie and Debbie themselves should become entangled – in theory.

But what does that imply experimentally?

Our experiment goes like this: the friends enter their labs and measure their particles. Some time later, Alice and Bob each flip a coin. If it’s heads, they open the door and ask their friend what they saw. If it’s tails, they perform a different measurement.

This different measurement always gives a positive outcome for Alice if Charlie is entangled with his observed particle in the way calculated by Wigner. Likewise for Bob and Debbie.

In any realisation of this measurement, however, any record of their friend’s observation inside the lab is blocked from reaching the external world. Charlie or Debbie will not remember having seen anything inside the lab, as if waking up from total anaesthesia.

But did it really happen, even if they don’t remember it?

If the three intuitive ideas at the beginning of this article are correct, each friend saw a real and unique outcome for their measurement inside the lab, independent of whether or not Alice or Bob later decided to open their door. Also, what Alice and Charlie see should not depend on how Bob’s distant coin lands, and vice versa.

We showed that if this were the case, there would be limits to the correlations Alice and Bob could expect to see between their results. We also showed that quantum mechanics predicts Alice and Bob will see correlations that go beyond those limits.

Experimental apparatus for our test of the paradox with particles of light. Photograph by Kok-Wei Bong
Next, we did an experiment to confirm the quantum mechanical predictions using pairs of entangled photons. The role of each friend’s measurement was played by one of two paths each photon may take in the setup, depending on a property of the photon called “polarisation”. That is, the path “measures” the polarisation.

Our experiment is only really a proof of principle, since the “friends” are very small and simple. But it opens the question whether the same results would hold with more complex observers.

We may never be able to do this experiment with real humans. But we argue that it may one day be possible to create a conclusive demonstration if the “friend” is a human-level artificial intelligence running in a massive quantum computer.

What does it all mean?
Although a conclusive test may be decades away, if the quantum mechanical predictions continue to hold, this has strong implications for our understanding of reality – even more so than the Bell correlations. For one, the correlations we discovered cannot be explained just by saying that physical properties don’t exist until they are measured.

Now the absolute reality of measurement outcomes themselves is called into question.

Our results force physicists to deal with the measurement problem head on: either our experiment doesn’t scale up, and quantum mechanics gives way to a so-called “objective collapse theory”, or one of our three common-sense assumptions must be rejected.

There are theories, like de Broglie-Bohm, that postulate “action at a distance”, in which actions can have instantaneous effects elsewhere in the universe. However, this is in direct conflict with Einstein’s theory of relativity.

Some search for a theory that rejects freedom of choice, but they either require backwards causality, or a seemingly conspiratorial form of fatalism called “superdeterminism”.

Another way to resolve the conflict could be to make Einstein’s theory even more relative. For Einstein, different observers could disagree about when or where something happens – but what happens was an absolute fact.

However, in some interpretations, such as relational quantum mechanics, QBism, or the many-worlds interpretation, events themselves may occur only relative to one or more observers. A fallen tree observed by one may not be a fact for everyone else.

All of this does not imply that you can choose your own reality. Firstly, you can choose what questions you ask, but the answers are given by the world. And even in a relational world, when two observers communicate, their realities are entangled. In this way a shared reality can emerge.

Which means that if we both witness the same tree falling and you say you can’t hear it, you might just need a hearing aid


World Record: Fermilab Achieves 14.5-Tesla Field for Accelerator Magnet

The Fermilab magnet team has done it again. After setting a world record for an accelerator magnet in 2019, they have broken it a year later.

In a June 2020 test, a demonstrator magnet designed and built by the magnet team at the Department of Energy’s Fermilab achieved a 14.5-tesla field strength for an accelerator steering dipole magnet, surpassing their previous record of 14.1 T.

This test is an important step toward addressing the demanding magnet requirements of a future hadron collider under discussion in the particle physics community. If built, such a collider would be four times larger and almost eight times more powerful than the 17-mile-circumference Large Hadron Collider at the European laboratory CERN, which operates at a steering field of 7.8 T. Current future-collider designs estimate the field strength for a steering magnet — the magnet responsible for bending particle beams around a curve — to be up to 16 T.

“Our next goal is to break the ’15-tesla wall’ and advance the maximum field in accelerator steering magnets to 17 T and even above, significantly improve magnet quench performance and optimize cost,” said Fermilab scientist Alexander Zlobin, who leads the magnet project. “Reaching these goals will provide strong foundation for future high-energy colliders.”


Russian scientists successfully complete world’s first COVID-19 vaccine trial

Moscow: The clinical trials of the world’s first coronavirus vaccine on volunteers has been successfully completed at Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, Sputnik news agency reported quoting an official.
The Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University began clinical trials of the vaccine produced by Russia’s Gamalei Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology on June 18.

“Sechenov University has successfully completed tests on volunteers of the world”s first vaccine against coronavirus,” Vadim Tarasov, the director of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Biotechnology, said. The first group of volunteers would be discharged on Wednesday and the second on July 20, he added.
According to Alexander Lukashev, the director of the Institute of Medical Parasitology, Tropical and Vector-Borne Diseases at Sechenov University, the objective of this stage of the study was to show the vaccine”s safety for human health, which was successfully done.

“The safety of the vaccine is confirmed. It corresponds to the safety of those vaccines that are currently on the market,” Lukashev told Sputnik.

The further vaccine development plan is already being determined by the developer”s strategy, including the complexity of the epidemiological situation with the virus and the possibility of scaling up production, Lukashev added.

“Sechenov University in a pandemic situation acted not only as an educational institution but also as a scientific and technological research center that is able to participate in the creation of such important and complex products as drugs … We worked with this vaccine, starting with preclinical studies and protocol development, and clinical trials are currently underway,” Tarasov noted.


Coronavirus drugs-vaccines coming, give us time: Pulitzer-winning cancer researcher Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee

In an exclusive conversation with India Today as part of the E-Conclave Corona Series, Pulitzer-winning author and cancer surgeon Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee says that while there is hope at the end of the novel coronavirus tunnel, scientists just need some time to come up with a vaccine or drug to fight the virus.

Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee has also authored The Laws of Medicine
Dr Mukherjee is the editor of Best Science Writing 2013
His latest work is THE GENE: An Intimate History
An assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University and a cancer physician and researcher, Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee is most popularly known as the author of The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. Dr Mukherjee was awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction for his book.

Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee joined India Today’s Rajdeep Sardesai for an exclusive discussion on the novel coronavirus outbreak and how it has changed the world. “The main thing we want is to buy time until we get a good vaccine or drugs. There are drugs coming, there is hope at the end of this tunnel, a vaccine will come. Everyone’s job is to buy us time. If you can buy us the time, we are trying our best.”

What India can learn from America?

Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee: India can learn from America about preparedness. The first case was reported on January 21 in Washington, the first proper kits were not available until the first week of March. We are talking about 40 days.

All viruses have an R0 number attached to it. It means the number of people one can infect. “Preparation is key,” Dr Mukherjee says.

Full coverage of E-Conclave 2020 Corona Series

What makes Covid-19 so different?

Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee: There are two features. Asymptomatic carriers can carry the virus and spread it, this is very unique. It’s not the case for Corona’s cousins SARS and MARS.

The second feature is if you don’t have any protection, the R0 keeps rising.

hat do we know about Covid-19?

Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee: There are plenty of people in their 20s and 30s who have died from the disease. Older people co-morbid conditions

We know the sequence of the virus, the genes. We also know potential places to attack the virus which is what the vaccine is about but it will take time. There are, however, many things still unknown.

Where are we on drugs for Covid-19?

Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee: When you develop a new drug against a virus, it goes through certain phases. The first phase is when an existing drug is re-purposed. There are two drugs in that category that stand out right now, are Hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir by Gilead

The second drugs are antibodies, these latch on specifically to coronavirus. Antibodies have to be produced in large quantities and have to be kept very clean.

Viruses have special capabilities to make copies of themselves. The third category of drugs is those meant to locate these copy-making abilities of viruses.

The fourth category is the vaccine. They take a very long time but are the most effective. Most importantly, the safety profile for a vaccine is crucial. The fastest vaccine we have developed is in 14-18 months.

What is the best strategy for this pandemic?
Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee: There is no one solution, it is a combination of solutions. Countries can only stay in lockdown for so long. If you don’t do lockdown, the cases rise exponentially. If the virus is allowed to spread unchecked, the number of cases will surpass the world’s population in 40 days.

By lockdown, we try not to overwhelm the healthcare system. We lower the curve of the spread of infection.

There are conditions that can allow us to get out of the lockdown. The first is testing that reveals what the real numbers are. The second is quarantine and isolation can be done using technology. The third is, you can lock down your own respiratory system.

Lockdown has to be removed along with testing and in phases.

Will we enter a changed world post-coronavirus?

Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee: It will be a changed world. We will be better prepared for the next pandemic. Many countries acted late. Stigma will be attached to those infected with coronavirus.

How much credence do you give to the fact that Covid-19 was developed in a lab?

Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee: I personally do not believe that.

Will you write a book on the history of Covid-19?

Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee: I have a book that has a dedicated section on viruses and vaccines. But I don’t see myself writing a book on the history of Covid-19, as of now.


Will India pin its hopes on anti-viral drug remdesivir?

With cases on the rise, India is closely tracking progress of anti-viral drug remdesivir’s usage to cure Covid-19 patients.

After Gilead Science’s anti-viral drug remdesivir showed signs that it could become a standard of care to fight Covid-19 pandemic, a US government disease expert welcomed the key clinical trial results. India, too, may pin its hopes on the drug in a bid to treat rising Covid-19 patients.

Gilead Science’s antiviral drug remdesivir gained traction after the US governmADVERTISEMENectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci called the early results of a key clinical trial as “good news” in the fight against novel coronavirus.

Preliminary results showed that patients given remdesivir recovered 31 per cent faster than those given a placebo.

: Gilead says remdesivir shows improvement in Covid-19 patients when used early President Donald Trump called the remdesivir drug trials “a stepping stone in moving faster in the direction of making a vaccine”.

Fauci said, “FDA is working with Gilead to figure out mechanisms to make this easily available to those who need it.”

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a wing of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US, said early results from its 1,063 patient trials show that hospitalised Covid-19 patients who were given remdesivir recovered in 11 days, compared to 15 days for those who were given a placebo.

The study also showed that 8 per cent of patients who were given the drug died, as compared to 11.6 per cent in the placebo group. However, the difference was not statistically significant so may not be due to Gilead’s drug, they added.

Will India consider remdesivir?

India is part of World Health Organisation’s (WHO) solidarity trials for vaccines.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director Dr Raman Gangakhedkar said earlier that India has kept an eye out on the results from the trials conducted with remdesivir and the data that is being collected on it.

“It is a product made by Gilead company. ICMR is participating in a solidarity trial with WHO, an arm of that solidarity trial is also working on the efficaciousness of remdesivir. Can other pharmaceutical companies make it? Once we know that then we shall move forward from there,” said Gangakhedkar on April 13.

It has been widely reported that remdesivir had previously failed as a treatment for Ebola, but it is now being tried against the novel coronavirus. Gangakhedkar explained that the drug prevents certain viruses from multiplying.

“Remdesivir a drug that was being used in Ebola outbreak. The drug acts on the mutation of the Covid-19 virus, which is why researchers believe that it could work.”

An earlier clinical trial conducted in China with remdesivir revealed details about the Ebola drug’s inefficacy on critical Covid-19 patients.

Released prematurely by WHO, results of the China trial suggested no benefit of the drug in terms of preventing death and reducing virus load. WHO retracted it soon after. Gilead had rejected the claim and said the study was released too early due to low patient enrolment.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director Dr Raman Gangakhedkar said earlier that India has kept an eye out on the results from the trials conducted with remdesivir and the data that is being collected on it.

Milan Sharma 

US grants emergency approval for remdesivir for Covid-19 patients


During a meeting in the Oval Office with President Donald Trump, Gilead Chief Executive Daniel O’Day called the move an important first step and said the company was donating 1 million vials of the drug to help patients.
In this file photo one vial of the drug Remdesivir is viewed during a press conference about the start of a study with the Ebola drug Remdesivir in particularly severely ill patients at the University Hospital Eppendorf (UKE) in Hamburg, northern Germany on April 8, 2020, amidst the new coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic.
In this file photo one vial of the drug Remdesivir is viewed during a press conference about the start of a study with the Ebola drug Remdesivir in particularly severely ill patients at the University Hospital Eppendorf (UKE) in Hamburg, northern Germany on April 8, 2020, amidst the new coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. (AFP)
The experimental drug remdesivir has been authorized by US regulators for emergency use against Covid-19, President Donald Trump announced Friday.

It comes after the antiviral made by Gilead Sciences was shown in a major clinical trial to shorten the time to recovery in some coronavirus patients, the first time any medicine has had a proven benefit against the disease.

“It is really a really promising situation,” Trump said at the White House, where he was joined by Gilead’s CEO Daniel O’Day.

“We are humbled with this first step for hospitalized patients,” said O’Day, adding: “We want to make sure nothing gets in the way of these patients getting the medicine.”

The company has previously announced it was donating some 1.5 million doses for free.

This amounts to about 140,000 treatment courses based on a 10-day treatment duration.

Remdesivir, which is administered by an injection, was already available to some patients who enrolled in clinical trials, or who sought it out on a “compassionate use” basis.

The new move allows it to be distributed far more widely and used in both adults and children who are hospitalized with a severe form of Covid-19.

The Food and Drug Administration, which authorized the approval, defines severe as having low blood oxygen levels, requiring oxygen therapy, or being on a ventilator.

‘Proof of concept’

The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) announced the results of a trial involving more than 1,000 people on Wednesday.

It found that hospitalised Covid-19 patients with respiratory distress got better quicker than those on a placebo.

Specifically, patients on the drug had a 31 percent faster time to recovery.

“Although the results were clearly positive from a statistically significant standpoint, they were modest,” Anthony Fauci, the scientist who leads the NIAID told NBC News on Thursday.

While not considered a miracle cure, remdesivir’s trial achieved a “proof of concept,” according to Fauci that could pave the way for better treatments.

Remdesivir incorporates itself into the virus’s genome, short circuiting its replication process.

It was first developed to treat Ebola, a viral hemorrhagic fever, but did not boost survival rates as other medicines.

The Food and Drug Administration FDA) has signed on the emergency use of Gilead Sciences Inc’s remdesivir drug for treating severe cases of COVID-19.

The drug, according to studies reduced the time it took patients to recover from the coronavirus infection. US President Donald Trump, on May 1, said that the FDA has granted Emergence Use Authorisation (EUA) for the investigational antiviral remdesivir.

Follow our LIVE Updates on the coronavirus pandemic here

The announcement was made at the Oval Office by Trump alongside Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day.

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“This EUA opens the way for us to provide emergency use of remdesivir to more patients with severe symptoms of COVID-19,” said Daniel O’Day, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Gilead Sciences.

Also Read | Exclusive: Gilead says open to collaborate with govts, drug firms to make Remdesivir globally available

“We will continue to work with partners across the globe to increase our supply of remdesivir while advancing our ongoing clinical trials to supplement our understanding of the drug’s profile. We are working to meet the needs of patients, their families and healthcare workers around the world with the greatest sense of urgency and responsibility.”


Earth Is Vibrating Substantially Less Because There’s So Little Activity Right Now

by VICTOR TANGERMANN: According to seismologists, that drastic reduction in human hustle and bustle is causing the Earth to move substantially less. The planet is ‘standing still’.

Thomas Lecocq, a geologist and seismologist at the Royal Observatory in Belgium, noticed that the country’s capital Brussels is experiencing a 30 to 50 percent reduction in ambient seismic noise since the lockdowns began, as CNN reports.

That means data collected by seismologists is becoming more accurate, capable of detecting even the smallest tremors – despite the fact that many of the scientific instruments in use today are near city centers.

“You’ll get a signal with less noise on top, allowing you to squeeze a little more information out of those events,” Andy Frassetto, a seismologist at the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology in Washington DC told Nature.

Researchers in Los Angeles and in West London, UK noticed a similar trend.

But seismologists collecting data from remote stations far away from human civilization might not see a change at all, according to Nature.

Regardless, a significant drop in seismic noise also shows that we’re at least doing one thing right during the current pandemic: staying in the safety of our own homes as we wait for the virus to run its course.

This article was originally published by Futurism.


Malaria carrying mosquitoes can sense insecticide

Related image

London: In a first, researchers have shown that proteins in the legs of malaria carrying mosquitoes help them develop resistant to insecticides, an advance that may lead to new strategies against the disease which kills nearly 4,00,000 people each year.

The study, published in the journal Nature, noted that insecticide resistant populations of two malaria carrying mosquitoes — Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles coluzzii — express a family of binding proteins situated in their legs.

According to the researchers from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) in the UK, the newly found resistance mechanism may be contributing to the lower than expected efficacy of bed nets in Western Africa where these mosquitoes are widely found.

“The protein, which is based in the legs, comes into direct contact with the insecticide as the insect lands on the net, making it an excellent potential target for future additives to nets to overcome this potent resistance mechanism,” explained Victoria Ingham, study first author from LSTM.

Studying the mosquitoes, the researchers proved that the binding protein, SAP2, was found elevated in resistant populations, and further elevated following contact with pyrethroids — the insecticide class which is used on all bed nets.

When the scientists partially silenced the gene that coded for this protein, lowering its production in the mosquitoes, the study said, susceptibility to the insecticide were restored. Conversely, the researchers said, when the protein was expressed at elevated levels, previously susceptible mosquitoes became resistant to pyrethroids.



These 11 astronauts just graduated under NASA’s Artemis mission

NASA has reportedly shortlisted 11 candidates for its Artemis mission that aims to put the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024. The ultimate goal is to land humans on Mars. The 11 NASA candidates along with two candidates from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) were selected in 2017.

It looks like NASA has shortlisted 11 candidates for its Artemis mission that aims to put the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024. The ultimate goal of the Artemis mission is to land humans on Mars. The 11 NASA candidates along with two candidates from the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), who were selected in 2017, were the first class of astronauts to graduate under the Artemis program. They completed two years of basic training for spaceflight.

The 11 NASA astronauts who graduated for Artemis mission include Kayla Barron, Zena Cardman, Raja Chari, Matthew Dominick, Bob Hines, Warren Hoburg, Dr. Jonny Kim, Jasmin Moghbeli, Loral O’Hara, Dr. Francisco “Frank” Rubio, Jessica Watkins. The two CSA astronauts are Joshua Kutryk, Jennifer Sidey-Gibbons.

The training also included assignments to the International Space Station (ISS), Artemis missions to the Moon, and ultimately, missions to Mars, NASA said in a press statement. Prior to this, NASA had shared details on how it is preparing potential astronauts for lower gravity environment of the Moon using its Neutral Buoyancy Lab which is located at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The first class of astronauts under Artemis program were selected from a record-setting 18,000 applicants, NASA revealed. Spacewalking, robotics, International Space Station systems, T-38 jet proficiency, and Russian language were also part of the training. The NASA and CSA astronauts will join the rank of 500 people who have ever gone into space.

NASA has said the its Orion capsule is ready for the Artemis lunar mission. The crew capsule will head towards the lunar orbit by June 2020. It will be launched around the Moon on NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. The spacecraft will take the crew to the lunar orbit and will return them to Earth as well.

NASA has also designed two new spacesuits for the Artemis program – Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU) and Orion Crew Survival System. The former is built on the design of suits that are already worn by astronauts on the ISS, while the second one is a bright orange pressure suit that will be worn by astronauts when they launch into space on Orion and return to Earth.

By: BT Tech Desk


Solar Eclipse Myths, Dos And Don’ts To Keep In Mind

Surya Grahan 2019, Solar Eclipse 2019: Scientists say that the only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially- eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers.

Surya Grahan 2019: Solar Eclipse Myths, Dos And Don'ts To Keep In Mind

Surya Grahan: Use eye protection during Solar Eclipse like a special eclipse glasses.

Some parts of India and the world will witness partial solar eclipse on December 26, Thursday. This is an “annular” solar eclipse, also known as “ring of fire”. The annular solar eclipse occurs when the moon covers the sun from its center, leaving its outer edges visible. So this year, the Moon will cover Sun from the center, while the edges will form what’s known as “ring of fire”. According to, the first location to see the beginning of partial eclipse is 7:59 am IST. The first location to see the beginning of full eclipse is 9:04 am IST. The maximum eclipse would occur at 10:47 am IST. The last location to see the end of full eclipse is 12:30 pm IST and last location to see the end of partial eclipse is at 1:35 pm IST. It will initially be visible as a partial eclipse and emerge in Riyadh and Saudi Arabia first. The partial eclipse will also be visible in various Indian locations like Mumbai, Bengaluru and New Delhi. It will also be visible in Doha, Dubai, Kuwait City, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, General Santos, Davao, and Saipan.

Surya Grahan: Myths, Dos and Don’ts Of Watching Solar Eclipse:

1.    NASA advises that it is dangerous to see solar eclipses through naked eyes and it can damage one’s eyes. So don’t look at the Sun directly. Looking at the Sun, even for a few seconds, can lead to permanent damage to the retina of the eye, it says.
2.    Don’t look at the Sun even while using any kind of optical aid like binoculars, a telescope, or an optical camera viewfinder as it can be extremely hazardous and can cause irreversible eye damage within a fraction of a second.
3.    Don’t try to use sunglasses, smoked glass, or some other home-made substitute. They’re not safe to use during partial solar eclipse or surya grahan.
4.    Use eye protection during surya grahan like a special eclipse glasses should be used to witness the solar eclipse. Always use special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers to watch the solar eclipse, say scientists.
5.    Scientists say that the only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. NASA suggests that when using or buying the eclipse glasses or hand-held solar viewers, they should be verified to be compliant with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard for such products.
6.    Always inspect solar filter before use. If scratched or damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter, suggests NASA.